A national youth work charity is launching a new solution to key issues facing young people.

UK Youth’s new Joined Up Institute aims to be the place young people and professionals come together to learn, turn evidence into action and solve key issues.

The aim of Joined Up is to provide a real solution to the fragmented system of support provided by professionals to young people. It will do this by bringing the expertise and professionals together with young people, to help provide a fresh perspective on how each engage as a group to support young people.

By 2025, it will bring together 10,000 professionals, from across a variety of sectors, with young people, to work together to tackle issues including mental health, outdoor learning, employability and social action.

London-headquartered international legal practice Osborne Clarke will be a founding partner of institute, supporting the digital aspect which aims to identify digital gaps for young people, as well as the opportunities for both youth sector professionals to access digital infrastructure and the tech sector to engage with them.

An Osborne Clarke partner will also be part of the Joined Up Institute’s steering group, providing their unique expertise and supporting the delivery.

Ndidi Okezie OBE, UK Youth Chief Executive Officer said: “We want the Joined Up Institute to be a game-changer in the youth sector and are immensely grateful to Osborne Clarke for its support for this initiative.

Young people are facing a complex and increasingly challenging world. There are pressures on their mental health, employment prospects and even physical safety. High workloads, reduced resources and limited support structures are resulting in increasingly stressed and isolated workforces, impacting the lives of millions. A new multidisciplinary and collaborative approach is needed.

Ms Okezie said: “Meaningful learning across all sectors that work with young people is essential if we are to scale comprehensive and sustainable solutions that will truly support them.

“We know there is a lack of mutual understanding across the various services that impact young people and this fragmentation results in complexities young people themselves are left to try to navigate. To effectively develop young people in the UK, we need a joined-up approach from across the key sectors that exist to support them; only by working together can we tackle the systemic problems letting young people down.”

Ms Okezie said: “We believe youth work is a catalyst for change - young people need support now more than ever. We will bring professionals together to share insight, best practice to help create solutions to many problems and challenges young people are facing.

Osborne Clarke began working with UK Youth in 2021 as part of a long-term partnership and funding programme to tackle digital poverty in young people, committing half a million pounds to address the lack of digital skills and resources for young people.

Kate Millar, Osborne Clarke Head of Responsible Business, said: "Joined Up is a groundbreaking programme that has the potential to make a huge difference in the lives of young people. We are a proud supporter of this initiative, and we also hope to learn from it – as we know that there is more the business community can do by joining forces and working together to create a positive impact and provide meaningful support to young people."

In addition to supporting the Joined Up Institute, during the past year, Osborne Clarke has funded 20 youth organisations, positively impacting nearly 6,000 young people by enhancing digital access and staff capability. Additionally, Osborne Clarke will offer free pro bono support to several of the engaged youth organisations this year.

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